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NICE Recommend SMART Recovery

“SMART Recovery is recommended as an evidence based program, please read on for further information.”


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has a hugely important role in England (and I think has influence in Scotland); they do cochrane reviews and recommend what treatments should be available on the NHS – and they also sometimes set ‘quality standards’ or benchmarks of what kinds of services should be provided. They are very evidence driven and are taken seriously.


They have just published a new report, on Quality Standards for Drug Use Disorders. Within this, Quality Standard 7 reads:


“People in drug treatment are offered support to access services that promote recovery and reintegration including housing, education, employment, personal finance, healthcare and mutual aid.”


On the same page, mutual aid is defined as:


“Mutual aid services include SMART (self-management and recovery training) recovery and those based on 12-step principles, for example Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.”


We would put it more positively of course – but effectively we can say to anyone in the English healthcare system that they are not doing their job if they do not encourage people with drug dependency problems to engage with mutual aid – and of course there is no reason not to offer choice which includes SMART.


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